Health Anxiety Is Real—And the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Making It Worse for Some People

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Health.com 05 October, 2021 - 05:41pm 14 views

The frequency of anxiety symptoms among US adults rose 13% from August to December 2020, while the frequency of depression symptoms rose 15%, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The analysis drew on data from more than 1.5 million Americans who reported how frequently they experienced anxiety or depression to the US Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey.

The CDC analysis found that anxiety and depression were positively correlated with the average number of new daily COVID-19 cases. US cases rose from around 42,000 per day during a two-week period in August 2020 to around 218,000 per day during a two-week period in December 2020 — an increase of more than 400%.

Mississippi and South Carolina saw some of the highest increases of anxiety and depression during that time, while Florida and New York saw some of the smallest.

The report didn't analyze which aspects of the pandemic led to these negative mental-health outcomes, but other research has started to probe these questions. 

A French study recently found that people who develop COVID-19 symptoms have a higher risk of anxiety and depression, likely because they fear getting sicker, infecting loved ones, or losing work or income. A January 2021 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation also found that isolation and job loss during the pandemic could predispose people to mental-health challenges.

One important takeaway from the CDC's findings, however, is that states in which anxiety and depression soared most weren't always the the ones with the strictest lockdowns, despite what some opponents to those measures suggested would happen. Mississippi and South Carolina never implemented mask mandates, and South Carolina allowed gatherings of up to 50 people throughout last year.

The CDC found that anxiety and depression seemed to peak over the winter. Then from December 2020 to early June 2021, the frequency of anxiety symptoms declined 27%, while the frequency of depression symptoms declined 25%.

One likely explanation for this, according to the researchers, is that from January to June, daily cases, hospitalizations, and deaths were declining. Vaccines, of course, also became widely available during that time.

But the Delta variant may have slowed or reversed this positive mental-health trend, the CDC found.

The new report underscores the need for mental-health services, they researchers added, as the pandemic continues.

Read full article at Health.com

Depression and Anxiety Fell in Early 2021 but Stayed High, C.D.C. Says

The New York Times 06 October, 2021 - 06:12am

The arrival of vaccines and declining Covid-19 cases in the first half of 2021 coincided with an easing of symptoms of anxiety and depression across the United States, according to survey data released on Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But symptoms remained much more common in June 2021, the end of the survey period, than before the pandemic, and could be on the rise again because of the summer surge in cases of the Delta variant, C.D.C. scientists said.

The agency relied on a biweekly online survey conducted from August 2020 to June 2021. Researchers analyzed 1.5 million responses over that period about the severity of symptoms of anxiety or depression.

From August to December 2020, symptoms of anxiety rose by 13 percent and symptoms of depression by 15 percent, the surveys found. But from December to June 2021, that trend reversed: Symptoms of anxiety decreased by 27 percent and of depression by 25 percent.

The C.D.C. said that there was a strong correlation between the average number of daily Covid-19 cases and the severity of respondents’ anxiety and depression.

Noting that some parts of the population had been harder hit by the virus than others, the agency said those same groups may be at higher risk for psychological ill effects from Covid-19 and that good access to mental health services was critical. Other research has indicated that people with low incomes were at higher risk of depression during the pandemic.

The national trends were mirrored in most states, with anxiety and depression peaking in December 2020 or January 2021, when U.S. cases, hospitalizations and deaths all peaked. States that experienced steeper increases in symptoms last year also showed larger reductions in the first half of 2021.

Mississippi was among the states with the largest increases in anxiety and depression scores by percentage in the second half of 2020. New York, on the other hand, experienced both the smallest rise in anxiety scores in late 2020 and the smallest drop in the first half of this year.

How to know if you have postpartum depression? Here are some signs to help you recognize the symptoms

PINKVILLA 06 October, 2021 - 06:12am

The arrival of vaccines and declining Covid-19 cases in the first half of 2021 coincided with an easing of symptoms of anxiety and depression across the United States, according to survey data released on Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But symptoms remained much more common in June 2021, the end of the survey period, than before the pandemic, and could be on the rise again because of the summer surge in cases of the Delta variant, C.D.C. scientists said.

The agency relied on a biweekly online survey conducted from August 2020 to June 2021. Researchers analyzed 1.5 million responses over that period about the severity of symptoms of anxiety or depression.

From August to December 2020, symptoms of anxiety rose by 13 percent and symptoms of depression by 15 percent, the surveys found. But from December to June 2021, that trend reversed: Symptoms of anxiety decreased by 27 percent and of depression by 25 percent.

The C.D.C. said that there was a strong correlation between the average number of daily Covid-19 cases and the severity of respondents’ anxiety and depression.

Noting that some parts of the population had been harder hit by the virus than others, the agency said those same groups may be at higher risk for psychological ill effects from Covid-19 and that good access to mental health services was critical. Other research has indicated that people with low incomes were at higher risk of depression during the pandemic.

The national trends were mirrored in most states, with anxiety and depression peaking in December 2020 or January 2021, when U.S. cases, hospitalizations and deaths all peaked. States that experienced steeper increases in symptoms last year also showed larger reductions in the first half of 2021.

Mississippi was among the states with the largest increases in anxiety and depression scores by percentage in the second half of 2020. New York, on the other hand, experienced both the smallest rise in anxiety scores in late 2020 and the smallest drop in the first half of this year.

Mississippi and South Carolina - 2 states with lax pandemic rules - saw anxiety and depression rise most last year, the CDC found

Yahoo News 06 October, 2021 - 06:12am

About 300 Oregonians received free health and vision screenings, and free COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, among other health services, on Sunday, Oct. 3, at a community event organized by Oregon Health & Science University students at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square.

In total, about 190 volunteers – largely medical, nursing, dental, pharmacy, physician assistant and optometry students and staff from OHSU and Oregon State University – made this year’s event possible.

“We love Portland and were thrilled to have so many people show up for our community and promote health equity in this very tangible way. Hearing from community members about how much they needed the services at the fair made us proud to be part of such an important OHSU tradition,” said student organizers Sean Bowden, Debbie Kim, Hannah Moon and Madison Wahl, all of whom are second-year medical students in the OHSU School of Medicine.

About 300 Oregonians received free health and vision screenings, vaccinations and other health services Oct. 3, 2021, at the student-organized OHSU Health Care Equity Fair. (OHSU/Kathryn Peck and Dustin Hawes)

About 300 Oregonians received free health and vision screenings, vaccinations and other health services Oct. 3, 2021, at the student-organized OHSU Health Care Equity Fair. (OHSU/Kathryn Peck and Dustin Hawes)

About 300 Oregonians received free health and vision screenings, vaccinations and other health services Oct. 3, 2021, at the student-organized OHSU Health Care Equity Fair. (OHSU/Kathryn Peck and Dustin Hawes)

About 300 Oregonians received free health and vision screenings, vaccinations and other health services Oct. 3, 2021, at the student-organized OHSU Health Care Equity Fair. (OHSU/Kathryn Peck and Dustin Hawes)

About 300 Oregonians received free health and vision screenings, vaccinations and other health services Oct. 3, 2021, at the student-organized OHSU Health Care Equity Fair. (OHSU/Kathryn Peck and Dustin Hawes)

About 300 Oregonians received free health and vision screenings, vaccinations and other health services Oct. 3, 2021, at the student-organized OHSU Health Care Equity Fair. (OHSU/Kathryn Peck and Dustin Hawes)

About 300 Oregonians received free health and vision screenings, vaccinations and other health services Oct. 3, 2021, at the student-organized OHSU Health Care Equity Fair. (OHSU/Kathryn Peck and Dustin Hawes)

OHSU is dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for all Oregonians through excellence, innovation and leadership in health care, education and research.

© 2001-2019 OHSU. OHSU is an equal opportunity affirmative action institution.

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